Well another box has come and been (mostly) used for some amazing food. I got this box back in July and damn it has been a bit hard to get through. Don’t get me wrong. I love rye, and I love what I got. It’s just a lot, I was gone for a couple weeks, I don’t make as much during summer months, and I just didn’t know what to make! I did make some delicious food so far and wanted to talk about it before the next box comes so let’s do a spotlight but also check out my social medias as I make even more recipes with Janie’s flours and the rest of this rye. Before we get into the box though, let’s shine a spotlight on an important person in the Janie’s operation.
If you have ever ordered anything from Janie’s you probably got a little note sign Cecilia. Cecilia is kind of a jack of all trades for the Janie’s team but one of her main roles is talking to those interested in the company. She originally is from New Zealand but has been living in Illinois for over a decade. Every time I have reached out with questions or comments, she is the one who responds. Every box I have gotten has a little thank you note signed by her. She is just incredible.
Not only the little notes but so many parts of the outreach for Janie’s Mill. From posting for their social media to playing with all the flours to make recipes and ideas to share, she is a key player in the mill and she is honestly just such a kind person. I’ve only had a few interactions with Cecilia but the little I have had I feel like she’s an old friend. She truly is a star for Janie’s Mill.
Now let’s talk about some rye…
Since this box was all the same grain I want to do this a little differently. The box includes four rye products to use. Whole rye berries, rye chops which are the berries just broken into smaller pieces but not so much a flour, dark rye flour which is 100% extraction with all the bran and germ to give you a lovely whole grain flour, and light rye flour that has been lightly sifted to give you a little less of the rye flavor and more benefits of the rye’s natural gums.
I don’t always have rye on hand so with all this rye I knew I needed to go into some of my favorite recipes for this. Of course right off the bat I had to do some rye molasses cookies (plus my dad was happy to have more to snack on). I used the light rye with this recipe so that I can get a lighter cookie
texture without the bran in there to cut up my structure builders. I knew they would be delicious but making these was also a way to incorporate all the health benefits to fresh milled grains into something for my family.
The other main baked item I made was a class bread I learned from one of my good friends Richard Miscovich. In his book From the Wood-Fired Oven there is a recipe for a very rye filled bread called Rugbrød. It’s such a lovely fermented bread that uses both rye chops and whole rye flour. I whipped up a batch with some of Carmen. The sourdough fermentation and the
extended fermentation by using the rye as a preferment is super beneficial in rye breads. It helps open the nutrients in the rye so it’s more easily accessible for our gut as well as help break it down so that our bodies can more easily digest it. The dough is a really simple mix, proof, and bake. It uses a Pullman pan to maintain a nice shape and allow for a lot more air to be held for a gorgeous texture. I do cut the fennel down a bit (sorry Chef!) but Miscovich loves a strong flavor in his rye breads and I need just a bit less to make it more enjoyable for me. I don’t cut it out completely because it is a lovely flavor that goes with the dark rye but I don’t want it to punch me in the face, I want it to guide the flavor journey.
I ended up also sharing the loaf with a student of mine who is a bread person that doesn’t make a lot of rye. He thought it was lovely and in turn I got some of his sourdough loaf and made an amazing egg sandwich for breakfast! (thanks Adam!)
I have held onto the rest of the light right to make another favorite of mine from Miscovich’s book. I just haven’t had a nice day align with a free day to make the dough and be willing to turn on the oven so that will have to wait. I also have slowly been using some of the remaining flour in various recipes Just adding a little rye to them to bring new flavors and nutrients to my day to day baking.
The berries and chops have been a bit harder to use up. I have ground a few with my mill to use but I want to utilize them in their full state. Some rye berry salads here or there. Make some rye chop porridge to go with some grilled veggies for some dinners. They really are such an easy to use grain and just a different route to go for some earthy flavors and of course all those nutrients.
For now, I will keep working to finish them up but that may take another couple months. As the weather gets cooler the oven will be on more and I will make more soups and stews that can incorporate the grains in new fashions. If you want to see what else I end up making make sure to follow me on Instagram to see what I’m cooking up.
For now though, I’m going to dream of some cooler weather and start planning the first things I’ll make on a cold fall day. What would be your first thing to bake in the fall?